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If you had a cheaper wedding (under £5k)

(33 Posts)
Emsy1449 Sun 13-Oct-13 18:21:52

What did you do and how did you do it?

Salhal Sun 13-Oct-13 18:26:29

Met in the pub, hired a coach, registry office, champagne (sainburys prosecco) and canapés at a friends lovely house, hired out the local Italian bistro and then party at our house ( then an end terrace), limited to 30 guests (50 at night) came in about 4k and none of the guests spent a penny all day. Sounds complicated but everyone said it was a fab day, free booze all day helped though I'm sure!

LadyCurd Sun 13-Oct-13 18:31:11

Some tips from me on my blog. We had an incredible day - everyone still says best wedding ever

jimijack Sun 13-Oct-13 18:32:58

Hired a dress. Bought cheepo shoes.
Dad paid for 15 people for a meal at the club up the road. Pub staff made it look lovely for us.
Borrowed a friends car to take me to the reg office.
Got married at local registry office.
Hair done by friend.
No honeymoon.
Didn't tell anyone till the week before except my dad & pils
Met our friends in the pub for a drink that night.

We had just bought our house & were skint.
Total cost was about £800

BEST DAY EVER. 13 years ago.

reup Sun 13-Oct-13 18:33:11

We got married just by ourselves but did have a big party a few weejs after. It was in local pub. it was just the afternoon, had a buffet and I put £100 behind the bar. We hired the disco and burned a cd. No photographer. We decorated the room with lots of helium balloons and sweets on the table. . We both had outfits but not traditional as I hate all that. Didn't have to decide btw day and eve friends and kids welcome as pub had big garden with play area.

It was a lovely relaxing day. But I have to admit I was born without that bride gene and I cannot fathom why anyone would do all that! To me it was about friends and family having a great time not living out some dream.

whattodoo Sun 13-Oct-13 18:37:07

Our budget is 8k. But i reckon i coild cut 3k if needed.

Register office do, reception for 60 at a pub (3 course meal with wine and coffee), 50 more evening guests.

my frock budget is 1k, i'm sure i could find something lovely for 500.

Hair is 50. Groom outfit 200. My ring will be platinum so have budgeted 500 but gold would probably be cheaper.

Stationery is 250 but you could make your own for half that.

We're having a drinks reception on arrival which we could cut and save 300.

A big extravagance is our photographer who is charging 1250 but would do it for 950 for less hours.

300 budget for flowers. No favours. Making the decorations myself.

I'm having 1 flower girl, cake is by someone trying to build her portfolio (200). Reception is at a pub who are charging 20 per head for 3course with coffee and mints.

Buffet for evening guests is 800 but we could prob save 200 off that.

DJ is 400.

We're not having fancy cars, just taxis.

So that's 1500 saved of our budget rather painlessly. I'm sure I could save a bit more if I out my mind to it.

RandomMess Sun 13-Oct-13 18:37:12

Got married at the church I attend so just made a donation (local registry office for a room big enough for family was £500!)
Bought a dress from monsoon
Flower girl dresses from tesco
Friend drove me to church
flower done by friend apart from bridal party
Used the church had a catered buffet
Limited alcohol due to church regs
bought tesco cake & friend decorated it

MerryMarigold Sun 13-Oct-13 18:43:13

Made wedding dress and bridesmaids (all 10!)
Friend made invites
Got someone going into catering (first ever wedding) to do catering - great food, really cheap
Buffet rather than sit down, but plenty of food
Hired a hall which was £50 per day and attached a small marquee
V cheap photographer (this is my 1 regret)
Mum and her friends did flowers
Friend played organ - bought a voucher
Bought own alcohol on offers from supermarkets (hadn't discovered Costco then, but now it would be worth joining just for savings on drinks)
Managed to get a cheap cake (wasn't that nice but looked good)
Friends did decorations which were amazing!

MerryMarigold Sun 13-Oct-13 18:44:15

Oh, I got my bouquet done professionally, but all the church flowers and the reception were done by Mum.

MerryMarigold Sun 13-Oct-13 18:45:20

Oh, it was for 200 people.

culturemulcher Sun 13-Oct-13 18:45:52

Two top tips from me -

first, whatever you do, whoever you speak to, whatever you're booking, do not EVER mention the word 'wedding'. It tripples prices on the spot. Say 'it's for a relaxed family get together'. Don't say e.g. bouquet, say 'hand tied bunch of flowers'. I swear I saved 75% on the cost of our wedding by never saying the word 'wedding'. It also frees up your thinking and makes you look more laterally at what you really want / need.

Second - don't stint on what actually makes your guests have a good time - get the best food and drink you can afford, and lots of it. Can't afford a sit down meal for 100? Get everyone to make their very best dish and bring it, or order party food from Waitrose, or book your favourite local restaurant out for the evening (don't mention wedding!) What people will remember is if they had a great time, not whether the buttonholes co-ordinated with the seat covers.

wigglybeezer Sun 13-Oct-13 18:48:55

I had a very home- made wedding, it was great but like others I regret not having a proper photographer and I kind of wish I had bought a proper wedding dress. Everything else was really good and we had a free bar all night, in fact the barrels of beer didn't run out 'til a week later!

culturemulcher Sun 13-Oct-13 18:52:34

Completely agree with merry about asking your friends and family to help, especially if it's it relates to their talents. E.g. one friend had a beautiful car and offered to be our chauffeur for the day. Another was a great baker and did the cake for us as a present. Another d-jed for us and yet another did a lot of the flowers.

We felt it made it so much more special for us than an 'off the peg' wedding - everything felt personal.

Buy your own wine/champagne. If your venue isn't happy, negotiate a corkage charge with them - they'll make money on each bottle and it will still save you a fortune.

MaeBea Sun 13-Oct-13 18:52:39

I had dress made by local dress maker, DH got nice suit with discount due to friend.

We got married in local registry office, but with just 2 witnesses (no parents) and in normalish clothes. Then went to pub with witnesses for bottle of champagne and sandwich.

The "wedding" was later that afternoon in village hall (hire c. £50). We had a humanist minister, but it was a pretty traditional exchange of vows. Before the ceremony guests had Pims and canapes.

Music was a cd we had done of favourite songs for after the ceremony and then a live band (I think £350, plus booze and meal).

Food was done by local farmers wife and was buffet style : lrg beef, lrg ham, various salads, quiche, apple pie and something else for pudding. She served it all and sorted clearing plates etc (with help from her daughter and others).

Drinks were beer or lager, red or white wine. Anyone who wanted anything else had to go to.village pub.

One thing I do regret is no Prof photos, but friend did good video with proper editing.

The hall provided tables, cutlery etc. We hired plates and glasses. We made table cloths, covered up all walls (full of playgroup art work!) and did all flowers, also my dad grew lots pots violas (terracotta pots from £shop) which we wrapped in ribbon as favours.

It was lovely - and local pub had lock in so carried on after we had to vacate the hall!!

MaeBea Sun 13-Oct-13 18:55:00

oh yes, we had 90 people.. (inc us - v important point we forgot, worries about chairs but luckily had 2 last min pull outs so were able to sit down!)

RandomMess Sun 13-Oct-13 18:56:01

Oh yes I couldn't afford a professional photographer as the going rate around here starts at £1k sad

ClipClap Sun 13-Oct-13 18:56:36

We wanted every

ClipClap Sun 13-Oct-13 19:00:30

Darn phone! We wanted everyone at our wedding - ended up with about 160 people. Humanist ceremony in huge deconsecrated church used for gigs now. No booze, BBQ food (professional caterers), charity shop wedding dress, professional band and dj friends, tescos weddibg cake, flowers from the wholesale market, decorated ourselves. Came in at about £4k (about £3k for venue, music and food).

Northernlurker Sun 13-Oct-13 19:01:25

We had a village hall too. Very good, cheap venue. Wedding cars are a huge rip-off. We used my parents white volvo driven by my uncle. Dh spent the day before cleaning it. My parents could not believe how long he spent hoovering the interior etc. Kind of endeared him to them grin
Flowers - it's cheaper to do them yourself if you know somebody who has half an eye. Ask at the church.

reup Sun 13-Oct-13 19:02:02

I forgot to say I made own invitations and bought a cake from m&s s as they do chocolate sponge wedding cakes and you buy the pillars. Walked to pub. Had small bunch of flowers for actual wedding, no car or any bridesmaids etc.

bec0901 Sun 13-Oct-13 19:02:32

Answer: got lots of help from friends and family!

Wore a vintage dress from a second hand shop.
Service at 4pm to reduce food and drink obligations!
Paid for church and organist.
Three friends took amazing photos (didn't do the posing thing).
Held reception in former pub open for private hires - free if we spent enough on booze.
Had hog roast for 70 (£1k) and family/friends brought all the associated breads, salads, vege stuff, canapes.
We paid for champagne then pay bar.
Cousin played live music during early part of reception (then disco).
Got a black cab to and from the event and went home to our own bed at the end of the night.

Wouldn't have done it any other way (except perhaps a Vegas wedding).

Ziggyzoom Sun 13-Oct-13 19:05:14

Called in lots of favours from friends. I really think the homespun weddings are far more enjoyable than tha fancy money-pit ones. grin

Arisbottle Sun 13-Oct-13 19:05:15

Our wedding came in very cheap, we spent barely anything bar the church.

Dress- wore what I had, DH did the same . No flowers , car, bridesmaids ect . Went to the pub after.

We have just paid for a wedding for DHs sister and it came in under 5k - I think.

Dress bought second hand for £500. Her husband hired a suit. Rather than presents people bought food and we paid for drink . We had the reception at our home which saved a lot of money .

FiveExclamations Sun 13-Oct-13 19:16:47

When I was about four months pregnant we booked three nights away on the coast and as we'd been talking about getting married before our DD was born, we decided to make that our honeymoon.

We managed to book a slot at the registry office the day before, I brought a cream top and skirt and my DH dug out his one and only suit.

We invited his mum (no other parents still living) and a few friends, I think there was less than ten people there. Then we went home and had a BBQ in the back garden. I think we did everything for about £500, maybe £600 at the most.

We had a mix tape I'd made playing during the ceremony, We walked in to David Gray's "Please forgive me" and out to Lou Reed's "Perfect Day".

It was actually a huge relief, we'd wanted to get married for a while and this gave us the chance to do it the way we wanted without MIL making a fuss. She was desperate for us to have a big church wedding with all her family there, but definitely not with me six months pregnant.

She still moans, 11 years later, because I didn't have a bouquet to hide my bump in the photos. [Grin]

angelinterceptor Sun 13-Oct-13 19:17:26

Made my own very simple but quirky invitations and order of service menus etc
DH bought a nice suit to wear and keep.
We made my dress - probably about £100 max
Cheap shoes from outlet
One young bridesmaid is a shop bought dress - £50
Did my own hair and makeup on the day.
Lots of friends helped with flowers and cake ad decorating. So all done at cost only and then a gift for them all separately
Hired a cheap marquee ( from a church) out it in our garden. Got a friend to do the catering - really nice buffet style.
Free wine and beer all day.
Oh and we hired a band for the evening.
And my dad had an old car which we used as out wedding car and my brother drove us!
My sister and her DH did photos.

Very very simple and cheap.

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